For years, the question of ethics in business has been one which fills the pages of business magazines and the airwaves of breakfast TV and radio. Indeed, there is a broad enough range of opinions on the topics for some people to even question whether there is room for ethics in the business world. Recent studies indicate that, with the “millennial” generation heavily focused on building a better future, there had better be room – because more and more of this generation are demanding better ethical performance from businesses.
It’s becoming increasingly clear, too, that this is not something they expect just from the big hitters with bottom lines creeping towards and exceeding the billion-pound mark. Smaller businesses, too, are finding that “doing well by doing good” is more than just a smart mantra. With an increasing tendency for customers to vote with their wallets, it is important for modern commercial leaders to know how they can deliver for those customers.
The primary reason that “ethics in business” is even in question is simple: to succeed, a business needs to make money. Without an ethical consideration, there is one simple path to profit: pay as little as you can for supplies, and charge as much as you can get away with for finished products or services. If you have employees, this MO dictates that you pay them as little as possible.
However, if you take the cynical attitude laid out above, the modern consumer is likely to find out about it, and they’ll take their money elsewhere. Look at paying employees a living wage and ensure they have a safe working environment, and make a virtue of paying a fair rate for supplies. This approach may cut into initial profits, but it will open up a new world of customers who will stand by you.
The importance of being green has, frankly, never been higher. With credible figures stating that we have just over a decade to take the action needed to avert a full climate catastrophe, we’re already in a crisis. As seen at https://www.activesustainability.com/climate-change/ show that just 100 fossil fuel producers are responsible for 71% of the emissions that are threatening the climate, and renewable resources are an essential step in turning back the crisis.
Against all of this, you may wonder what your company can do, but every step is worth making. Do everything you can to make your office paperless, find out about using electric vehicles, and check out the likes of https://www.qcr.co.uk/balers-compactors/cardboard-baler/ to help ensure that you’re recycling everything you can.
A business that sticks around will have an impact on its community that goes beyond just the people who work for it. How you do business can impact on the surrounding community, including on other businesses, people who live nearby and even local schools. Ensuring that your business puts back into the community, assisting in local charity and fundraising events, keeping extraneous noise and pollution to a minimum, and working in tandem with local businesses to ensure everyone has the best chance of success, are all ways that you can help your business thrive within the community, and do right by others at the same time.
Operating as an ethical business may mean more hard work up front, but it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart business decision!